With the many cloud computing options available, it can be difficult to find the services that meet your specific business needs. Virtual Private Cloud, Dedicated Private Cloud, Public Cloud, and Hybrid Cloud services are some of the solutions available. Finding the right cloud services is a major decision that should not be taken lightly. What works for one industry or company, may not work for another. Cloud services and hosting providers should meet your specific business needs, not be a one-size-fits-all situation.
Getting all the information is the first step. At its very core, Virtual Private Cloud is a logically isolated environment for one tenant on shared infrastructure. A Virtual Private Cloud takes advantage of the cost-effective multi-tenant model for infrastructure and virtualization, while maintaining business-critical performance and top security.
While all Virtual Private Clouds are not the exact same, a Virtual Private Cloud provider should offer cost-effective, multi-tenant models for infrastructure and virtualization, while maintaining business-critical performance and top security.
To fully understand Virtual Private Cloud, we will explore the differences, compare it against public cloud, and dig deeper into the benefits that a Virtual Private Cloud can bring to your business.
What is Virtual Private Cloud?
Virtual Private Cloud Powered by VMware is highly elastic and built for the most sensitive data workloads. Virtual Private Cloud provides customers with flexibility and portability, without commercial licensing fees. Our Virtual Private Cloud is redundant by default, and can be provisioned by you or one of LightEdge’s experienced engineers.
The Virtual Private Cloud is designed to maintain ultimate flexibility and scalability through elastic consumption of resources. Businesses gain peace of mind with the quality of service that’s backed by high levels of performance.
Other features include:
- N+1/HA (high availability) – N+1 redundancy ensures availability in the event of component failure. Other multi-tenant clouds are single instance or require significantly higher investments to achieve N+1.
- Managed to the highest security levels – We use best practices in encryption, change management, and configuration management to ensure your sensitive data remains protected.
- Close proximity to legacy or traditional IT platforms that may need to be colocated or remain near end users. This results in improved bandwidth, latency, and control for you.
- Hybrid-ready – Hybrid clouds and multi-cloud strategies are an increasingly practical and cost-effective way to optimize based on workload requirements.
- Access to the LightEdge Hybrid Solution Center and all its benefits – What separates LightEdge from other virtual private cloud providers is our ability to design, orchestrate, and manage customers’ hybrid environments from beginning to end. This gives you confidence that we can meet your needs today and easily make changes as your business evolves in the future.
- SLA-backed performance – We guarantee 100% resource availability. With LightEdge VPC, you never run the risk of competing for performance, as our services are carefully designed and managed to avoid ‘bad neighbor’ attributes of traditional public clouds.
What are the Differences Between Virtual Private Cloud, Public Cloud, Dedicated Private Cloud, and Hybrid Cloud?
Before you can select a cloud service provider and a suitable cloud solution, your organization must thoroughly understand its specific business needs. That seems like an obvious statement. Yet, many organizations start out assessing providers before understanding their own needs.
Gmail, EHR systems, Drop Box are all cloud-service based, yet very different. Today, we will be covering four different types of cloud services available. Those four include Public Cloud, Dedicated Private Cloud, Hybrid Cloud and Virtual Private Cloud.
Virtual Private Cloud
The Virtual Private Cloud gives you maximum security and high performance you need at an affordable cost; all customized to your liking. Virtual Private Cloud would be ideal for you if:
- You need compute and storage resources quickly or for a short amount of time
- You don’t have staff to maintain your own Dedicated Private Cloud (DPC)
- You require resources close to traditional IT but don’t have enough need to justify a large investment
- You need a cloud option that can be used for business continuity and disaster recovery
Since infrastructure resources are provisioned in advance, Virtual Private Clouds ensure demand spikes do not threaten your business’ network. However, since a Virtual Private Cloud is designed with tenant isolation in mind, initial configurations provide more security and separation. This ensures your environment remains safe even during your initial configuration and setup.
Features such as hardened operating system images, default “deny all” security settings, compliance certifications, and private networking options are features that can further differentiate a Virtual Private Cloud from a public cloud. Here are some pros and cons of a Virtual Private Cloud environment:
- Pros: VPC can be the sweet spot for those that need security in the cloud, but don’t want to invest in a dedicated private cloud. It’s hybrid-ready and redundant.
- Cons: VPC might not be ideal for companies that do not have strict regulatory requirements to meet, robust workload objectives, and high performance requirements, or those that prefer a CapEx spending cycle.
Public cloud services provide infrastructure and services to the public. Within these cloud systems, users claim resources as they are needed, at multiple price points. Users also share these physical resources with others, which can offer cost advantages. All resources are shared by many different people and businesses. This can be a security concern for regulated industries.
Some common examples of a public cloud include Gmail and Drop Box. In April of 2017, Google reported that it had 1 billion monthly users. While your Gmail account is protected by a password of your choosing, the hardware it is stored on is shared with over 1 billion people.
The public cloud is based on the standard cloud computing model, in which a solutions provider makes resources, such as VMs, applications or storage, available to the public over the internet.
Public cloud providers like AWS or Google provide a pay-per-usage model that can get pricey if not used properly or monitored continuously.
Due to the lack of control and the multi-tenancy environment, highly regulated industries can be a poor fit for the public cloud when it comes to their most valued assets. Industries that typically stay away from a public cloud environment include the healthcare industry because of strict security regulations surrounding electronic patient information. Other highly compliance regulated industries that typically avoid a public cloud environment include the financial industry and the manufacturing industry.
On the other hand, some private cloud environments guarantee separation from other users through the use of physically isolated, dedicated infrastructure. These systems provide higher security and stability, but also carry a higher price tag. Here are a couple of pros and cons for selecting a public cloud environment:
- Pros: Increased scalability and flexibility, no hardware investments
- Cons: Higher security risk, away from IT’s direct control, lack of trust in shared servers, larger public cloud giants like AWS and Google lack provider support or partnership
Dedicated Private Cloud
Dedicated private cloud environments are devoted to one organization and often have much stricter security and compliance processes than a public cloud environment. A traditional private cloud environment allows businesses to control highly sensitive data while meeting the industry-based regulations. That information could be medical records, trade secrets, or other classified information.
Dedicated private cloud solutions use infrastructure that can be outsourced from a trusted provider that meets specific compliance and security criteria. The healthcare and financial industries typically look for a private cloud environment because they will be hosting highly confidential information. The federal and state guidelines also require a private cloud environment to meet their guidelines for data controls.Here are a couple of pros and cons for selecting a private cloud environment:
- Pros: Offers high security and customization, reliable and efficient, lacks the concerns of a shared server, greater control, provider typically acts as trusted partner, greater provider support
- Cons: Requires expert knowledge that the current IT team may not possess if the private cloud is kept on-premises, higher initial outlay but businesses find it balances out and becomes more cost-effective in the long-term compared to the public cloud
A hybrid cloud solution is a blend of both public and private clouds. This is the most complex cloud environment because enterprises must manage multiple platforms that require expert knowledge.
An example of a hybrid cloud environment is a card payment processes customer that wants to keep credit card and confidential customer information on a private cloud but place daily customer-facing information on a public cloud environment.
A hybrid cloud solution can maintain independence while providing collaboration across different platforms. Here are some pros and cons of a hybrid cloud environment:
- Pros: Offers flexibility and cost savings, along with security and data protection
- Cons: The most complex cloud solution to manage and maintain, requires special expertise
Benefits and Challenges of Virtual Private Cloud
One of the benefits that Virtual Private Cloud has to offer is that it enables an organization to tap into some of the benefits of private clouds, such as more granular network control and security, while still using public cloud resources in a highly scalable way. Here are a couple of benefits that Virtual Private Clouds offer:
- Seamless Updates: The Virtual Private Cloud provider should be able to apply updates with little to no downtime; most providers will refresh the underlying hardware while constantly acquiring faster and better hardware.
- Security: Information passed through a Virtual Private Cloud stays within a customer’s control without crossing the internet. To keep clients satisfied, reputable cloud hosting providers typically spend more time to obtain this level of compliance and security.
- Easy integration: A Virtual Private Cloud can be integrated with other cloud services, or an on-premises infrastructure. Once in place, it effectively becomes a hybrid cloud, which is more than one cloud working together to meet your specific needs.
Another benefit of Virtual Private Clouds is enabling a hybrid cloud deployment. Hybrid clouds and multi-cloud strategies are an increasingly practical and cost-effective way to optimize based on workload requirements.
A 2016 report from 451 Research states that two of the most critical factors that influence the cost of a public versus a private cloud deployment are an organization’s ability to manage the infrastructure and use resources wisely. Another 2017 survey by RightScale identified that approximately 30-40% of all cloud spend could have been avoided. Although Virtual Private Cloud costs are competitive with public clouds, cost-effectiveness depends on how the resources are managed.
Despite the benefits of Virtual Private Clouds, these solutions can also introduce some challenges. For example, an organization might face some complexity when configuring, managing and monitoring its virtual private network (VPN).
Before you commit to a Virtual Private Cloud solution, or any other cloud service, you should define your business needs and select a service based on the resources available to meet those needs.
Benefit from LightEdge’s Virtual Private Cloud
LightEdge’s Virtual Private Cloud, Powered by VMware combines compute, network, and storage options for today and tomorrow’s workloads. Our solution is compliant hosted computing designed to scale with your business needs.
LightEdge designed this Virtual Private Cloud with features that combat common cloud challenges. We also capped resource usage to control costs, use secure-by-default configurations to protect sensitive data, and engage highly portable deployments that prevent vendor lock-in.
From simply ordering-up capacity in fully-managed environments to private clouds that are a customized configuration of infrastructure into any layer of the stack, LightEdge’s world-class facilities built to Tier III standards and talented engineers are ready to accommodate your business’ requirements.
LightEdge is committed to keeping our customers’ IT operations, critical applications and data protected. We provide the technology and resources our customers require to get to a production state that meets their RTO and RPO requirements.
LightEdge also offers a comprehensive set of disaster recovery solutions to ensure uninterrupted performance of IT operations and mission-critical systems in the event of a disaster.
Want to learn more about LightEdge’s Virtual Private Cloud, Powered by VMware? Contact one of our cloud experts to get started or to schedule your private tour of any of our seven data centers. We have security, compliance and cloud experts standing by to answer any of your questions and to show you how our Virtual Private Cloud works, so you can benefit from it yourself.